Big Bertha Steam Locomotive

Picture of Big Bertha (Big Emma) a steam locomotive
Big Bertha (0-10-0)


Built: Designed by James Anderson and built in 1919 at the Derby Works of the Midland Railway. Also known as Big Emma.


Description: configuration: 0-10-0 (10 driving wheels with a diameter of 4 ft 7½ in); There were four cylinders but only two sets of piston valves because there was insufficient space under the smokebox to fit piston valves for the inside cylinders. Instead, the large outside piston valves supplied the inside cylinders through cross-over steam ports. Weight: 107 tons; tractive effort: 43,300 lbf. She was the only locomotive not given a power classification by either the LMS or BR, since she was designed specifically for the job of providing extra power and was not suitable for normal train working.


Duties: Bertha was tried on goods trains before being dispatched as a "banker" to the Lickey Incline in Worcestershire (south of Birmingham), England, the steepest sustained main-line railway incline in Great Britain. Bankers provide extra power on steep inclines by being added to the rear of other trains, and were also used to prevent wagons or coaches breaking away from the train when going downhill.


Significant Events: None found


Retirement: The engine was withdrawn in 1956 and scrapped later that year.


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